Tuesday, October 21, 2008

SNRAS offers new degrees

Several new exciting degree options have been added to the SNRAS lineup in the past two years. These are:
PhD in Natural Resources and Sustainability
As Alaska and the Circumpolar North face increasingly complex challenges in the use and management of natural resources, the education and training of high-level professionals skilled in the practices and policies that enhance natural resource management become increasingly important. The program aims to prepare future leaders as academic researchers, agency professionals, and analysts, and centers around three thematic areas: i) resource economics, ii) resource policy and sustainability science, and iii) forest and agricultural sciences. Graduates will likely find work in the frontiers of science, helping to manage natural resources and the environment. Careers include university faculty, researchers, and private consultants for governmental or nonprofit agencies.

Objectives are to educate and train scholars at the PhD level with in-depth integrated knowledge in research and management of natural resources, develop leaders to direct the use and management of natural resources in Alaska and other northern latitude settings, create a nationally-recognized program that contributes to scientifically-informed public decisions, contribute to sustainable development of Alaska’s rural and urban environments, and increase research programs addressing the Arctic and its indigenous people.

Contact: Dr. Joshua Greenberg, associate professor of resource economics
Phone: 907.474.7189

• Professional Master’s in Natural Resources Management and Geography
The Master’s in Natural Resources Management and Geography is designed for students planning a management career involving largely non-research responsibilities such as general planning and administration, communication and public information, and impact assessment.
Because of the diversity and broad scope of the natural resources management and geography fields, the objectives of this degree will be tailored to each individual student. The graduate committee will be the main body that assesses the student’s background, individual deficiencies, and specific coursework needs. There will be a minimal number of common courses that all will take, plus a requirement for an individual academic project addressing some existing NRM/G problem or issue. While not requiring scientific experimentation or sampling or the gathering of primary data, the work is expected to involve critical reflection, empirical inquiry, and intellectual honesty. A written product (opus) and an oral presentation demonstrating sound scholarship will be required. Final acceptance of the opus will be by the student’s committee and the associate dean of SNRAS.

Contact: Dave Veazey, director of enrollment management
Phone: 907.474.5276

Peace Corps Master’s International Program
In this cooperative master’s degree program, students integrate graduate studies with international development experience. Master's International has made the unique opportunity of complementing a master's degree with overseas service. Master's International addresses the first goal of the Peace Corps: to help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women. Prospective students apply simultaneously to both the Peace Corps and UAF. After completing initial course work and receiving the Peace Corps placement, the participant will travel to his or her site and begin training. Once overseas, an assignment is given according to the needs and requests of the host country. Participating faculty recognize that while overseas, primary responsibilities are the project and community. Rather than determining a research topic in advance, the volunteer assignment will shape the academic requirement. This may be a thesis, professional paper, or other culminating project, under the direction of faculty and with the approval of Peace Corps overseas staff. After completing Peace Corps service, the volunteer returns to finish graduate course work with the advantage of actually having implemented ideas and applied theory in the real world.

Contact: Tony Gasbarro, professor emeritus and UAF campus coordinator of Peace Corps Master’s International Program
Phone: 907.474.7246

Visit the UAF Newsroom for a story about Erin Kelly, Master’s International student

Geography undergraduate degrees

The UA Geography Program is a statewide academic program that provides training and information in the field of geography and related disciplines. The UA Geography Program has expanded the Bachelor of Science Program to offer students more options while pursuing a BS in geography: Landscape Analysis and Climate Change Studies, Geographic Information Science and Technology, and Environmental Studies. These new options were designed to prepare students to understand, live, and work in a dynamic and changing world.

The Environmental Studies option has a strong emphasis on environmental issues, wilderness concepts, and management. It provides the foundation necessary for understanding the natural and social environment, the analysis of environmental issues from an interdisciplinary geographic perspective, a diverse technical and scientific approach to environmental issues, and the ability to find balanced solutions to environmental problems.

The GIS option emphasizes skills and practice in geographic information science, systems, technology, and analytical aspects of geography. Courses in statistics, computer programming, GIS and GPS, and Remote Sensing are integrated with the geography core curriculum and courses in natural sciences.

The Landscape Analysis and Climate Change Studies option integrates and synthesizes courses in geography, climate change, physical and biological sciences, and geographic information sciences and technology. The theme of climate and environmental change and the underlying ‘pattern and process paradigm’ are the unifying threads of this program.

Contact: Katie Kennedy, UA Geography education and outreach coordinator
Phone: 907.474.7494

The UA Geography Program has revised the Bachelor of Arts Program. The geography BA degree provides broad cultural training and background in the liberal arts with an emphasis in the Circumpolar North and Pacific Rim Studies. The BA also provides a geographic perspective based on these regions and prepares students for careers in management, policy, teaching, field-based research, regional planning, and private sector careers. The BA also provides an excellent foundation for advanced studies in a wide range of academic disciplines.

Contact: Katie Kennedy, UA Geography education and outreach coordinator
Phone: 907.474.7494

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